Belfast Telegraph

Jol: We surprised them

Fulham manager Martin Jol admits he is relieved to be heading to Ukraine next week with a three-goal advantage in their Europa League play-off against Dnipro.

Clint Dempsey's brace helped the Cottagers secure a comfortable 3-0 first-leg victory after Aaron Hughes broke the deadlock. Despite the scoreline, Dnipro proved stern opposition and were somewhat unfortunate not to grab a potentially all-important away goal.

Dnipro manager Juande Ramos believed the result did not reflect the game but Jol disagreed with his counterpart, saying: "You cannot win if you don't take your chances."

He added: "We could have scored four or five and they had probably more shots on goals than we liked in the last 20 minutes.

"They could have scored a goal as well but I think 3-0 is probably a realistic scoreline.

"We saw them play a couple of games and even against Shakhtar they looked good, although [Shakhtar] still scored three goals.

"They play good counter-attacking football. They want to play football and we knew that so we knew there would always be space for us.

"So we reversed that with our full-backs and they probably did not expect that so that was good. Sometimes that happens and you can surprise another team and I think we did that."

Meanwhile, Ramos came under close scrutiny after the defeat from the assembled Ukrainian press. Dnipro have been in indifferent form of late and the former Sevilla coach has come under increasing pressure.

Ramos argued the scoreline was unjust after his side's performance, saying: "It was not a deserved result. We played well but we didn't deserve that result. The result was not a just result, it was too big for us."


From Belfast Telegraph